Modi to inaugurate new Vaishno Devi track on May 19

Governor NN Vohra, also the chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, reviewed the completion of Tarakote Marg through teleconferencing at Raj Bhawan here on Tuesday.
The track will be thrown open to the pilgrims on May 13. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally inaugurate it on May 19.
The meeting was also attended by shrine board Chief Executive Officer Umang Narula, Additional Chief Executive Officers MK Kumar and Anshul Garg, Chief Engineer MM Gupta and other officials concerned.
In February 2011, the shrine board had approved the Governor’s proposal to construct an alternate track between Banganga and Adhkuwari, to decongest the rush of pilgrims on the existing 6-km track, besides providing a pony-free route from Katra to Bhawan, which is exclusively meant for use by the yatris.
The alternate 7-km track, which is 6-m wide, has a comfortable gradient and attractive wayside amenities. Tarakote Marg provides the pilgrims a cleaner and scenic route, which has two bhojanalayas, four view points and seven toilet blocks. The toilet blocks have been provided with facilities for the convenience of the elderly pilgrims and specially abled.
A medical unit fully equipped with doctors, paramedics, medicines and equipment has been established to facilitate the pilgrims on 24×7 basis.
The entire track is based on a ramp-type design, without any steps, and has an average and smooth gradient of one in 12 which, with interlocking antiskid tiles, makes it easier for walking. The track has been aesthetically landscaped and over 46,000 ornamental plants, herbs, flowering and avenue trees have been planted to improve its ambience. Also, three floating fountains have been installed in the water bodies along the track. It is illuminated with 500 energy-efficient LED lights, beside DG sets have been installed for ensuring round-the-clock power supply. To provide free filtered drinking water to the pilgrims, 16 water ATMs have been installed on the marg at intervals of 400-500 m.
Almost the entire track has been covered with blue-roofed sturdy shelter sheds for the safety of pilgrims against shooting stones and for protecting them from rain and sunshine. The shelter sheds have been specially designed by IIT Roorkee and a welded-mesh fence has been erected all along the track to ensure avoid any accident on hill slopes.
Identified vulnerable spots have been treated for slope stabilisation to ensure the safety of the pilgrims from shooting stones and landslides. The interventions undertaken for slope stabilisation include cladding, cement pressure grouting, high-tensile wire mesh, gabions and debris flow barriers, etc.
The Governor has travelled on the Tarakote Marg several times to review the nature of services to be provided at the wayside facilities for the pilgrims. At the request of the business community and locals of Katra and Purana Daroor, the Tarakote Marg has been linked with the existing Banganga-Adhkuwari track at a point which takes off near Gulshan Langar. The 1.5-km link road provides the yatris choice of walking on the existing Banganga-Adhkuwari track or on the purely pedestrian Tarakote Marg, once they have crossed Darshani Deodi.

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